Parasitic diseases of the heart

Louis V. Kirchhoff, Louis M. Weiss, Murray Wittner, Herbert B. Tanowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The following chapter is one of a series of chapters in the volume entitled Infections of the Myocardium appearing in Frontiers in Bioscience. The full table of contents can be found at tanowitz.htm. In this chapter, we review several parasitic infections involving the myocardium and pericardium. The most widely studied parasitic infection affecting the heart is Chagas' disease or American trypanosomiasis. In this chapter we describe issues relating to Chagas' disease not covered in detail in other chapters. African trypanosomiasis may also cause a myocarditis. The protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica rarely causes a pericarditis while Toxoplasma gondii may cause myocarditis, usually in immunocompromised hosts. The larval forms of the tapeworms Echinococcus and Taenia solium may cause space-occupying lesions of the heart. Severe infection with the nematode Trichinella spiralis may cause myocarditis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-723
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
StatePublished - 2004


  • Amebiasis
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Chagas' disease
  • Cysticercosis
  • Echinococcus
  • Endocardial fibroelastosis
  • Myocarditis
  • Parasites
  • Review
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Trichinosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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